The Flowfold Conductor Duffle Bag offers a simple, but highly functional design well suited to the savvy traveler. High-quality materials with a minimalist design make it a bag that does just what it needs to, without extra features that raise the price without improving the performance.
Flowfold began in 2010 when founder Charley Friedman tried an experiment. Growing up on Maine’s Peaks Island, Charley found his gear regularly challenged by the elements. Wind, rain, and commutes that involved many different modes of transportation highlighted the inefficiencies of outdoor gear.
Tired of equipment failures on what should be simple items, Charley decided to try making his own gear. He began with a wallet made of discarded sailcloth. The thin but super strong material made a superb product; lightweight, simple, durable, and waterproof.
Flowfold has built on this concept with a commitment to “minimalist gear for everyday adventures.” Their products include backpacks, totes, dog gear, and of course, wallets. Continuing to grow without sacrificing their vision for reliable, rugged gear with no-frills designs, Flowfold has found their way to major outdoor retailers around the country.
REI, Eastern Mountain Sports, and Backcountry.com all carry Flowfold products. Even LL Bean - a neighboring company in Maine - has recognized the company’s potential and partnered on exclusive collaborations, a testament to the quality of Flowfold’s product line.
The Conductor Duffle Bag highlights all of Flowfold’s strengths in one simple, functional bag appropriate for a variety of adventures great and small.
What We Like Best
Packing for a weekend trip need not be complicated. The Flowfold Conductor Duffle Bag features 40 liters of capacity while weighing in at just over 12 ounces. The water-resistant material makes it perfect for holding essential items on a boating or paddling excursion. The size fits overhead luggage requirements, making this an ideal travel bag.
While a lot of luggage - even soft-sided luggage - can take up a lot of space when not in use, the conductor duffle’s ultra-lightweight material means it packs down to a tiny volume. For the space-conscious, this is a huge bonus, especially when that small size comes without compromising strength.
Durability is where the conductor really shines. Quality materials allow it to handle getting stuffed into overhead compartments, or thrown around a campsite without losing tearing or bursting at the seams. That durability combined with low weight and the ability to pack down to a small size makes the conductor well suited to adventuring by just about any means of transportation.
What We Don't Like
While minimalist is the name of the game for Flowfold, it does present a few shortcomings in the Conductor duffle. The single strap design with two small carry straps offers some limitations on comfort, especially when carrying on longer journeys. The thin shoulder strap keeps the weight of the bag down, but when fully loaded, it can rub a little unpleasantly.
Similarly, the duffle only has one small side pocket for storing items like keys or a phone for quick access. Stuffing everything else into the main compartment makes the bag a little prone to bunching. Adventure bags often benefit from a little more organization. Separate pockets for maps or snacks come in handy but aren’t an option on this bag.
That same minimalist design brings one more minor flaw - no locks. On adventures where security is a concern, this minor flaw might be a little more substantial.
The Flowfold Conductor Duffle Bag makes an excellent all-purpose bag for outdoor recreation or short trips by plane, train, boat, or automobile. With a size that can accommodate a week’s worth of clothing, materials that can support everything from climbing gear to fishing tackle, and an amazingly low weight, this bag is a testament to the marvels of minimalist design.
Flowfold knows what it does well. With a focus on high-quality materials, while eschewing unnecessary features that bog down production and drive up costs, they have found a nice niche. There exists an undeniable appeal in simplicity: fewer points of failure and less uncertainty about how features will work.
Flowfold also proudly represents the “Made in the USA” patch. They dramatically cut down material waste by auditing their production methods regularly, and use over 36% recycled materials. On top of that, each employee gets two days off each year for volunteerism with an organization of their choice.
You might need something a little more developed in terms of design for longer journeys where you need a little more organization, or you cannot have eyes on the bag at all times. The bag is handsome enough but not likely to turn many heads - this may be a pro or a con depending on the situation.
The versatility makes the conductor equally at home in a canoe or an airplane terminal. Not many bags can pass that kind of test, especially not at the durability or weight of the Conductor duffle. If you need a simple, useful piece of luggage, the Flowfold Conductor Duffle Bag bag fits the bill.